Often we see leaders and organizations making decisions with their best intentions at the forefront, yet omitting the individuals from the process who will be impacted by these.
Through Prosperity Broward, and with the help of community and national partners, we took a bottom-up approach to engage a community to deliberately peel back the onion and see what was working, what could be improved, and what was not needed.
To do this, we needed to identify which community we would partner with.
When looking where to start an economic mobility pilot, the Prosperity Broward leadership, with the help of the Data Working Group and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, identified the following variables as criteria for their decision-making:
Per capita income – the mean income computed for every man, or woman, derived by dividing the aggregate income of a particular group by the total population in that group.
Poverty rate – the ratio of the number of people (in a given age group) whose income falls below the poverty line.
Educational attainment (HS diploma) – All individuals over the age of 25 who have graduated from High School or hold a GRE degree
Political Will - Leadership commitment at the municipal level to support and advance this work.
When utilizing the variables identified by the Data Working Group, data showed that from the six (6) Prosperity Zip Codes, 33311 had the highest need and opportunity to make a positive and lasting impact.
Once zip code 3311 was identified, the group delved deeper to identify the municipality within it that contained the largest concentration of disparity and opportunity for support.
Lauderdale Lakes was identified as the area with the highest need within the entire county base on the preselected variables.
Now, the group was tasked with finding the residents from the community who would be hired as co-researchers.
Through research, single female heads of household were our desired population as they experienced the most hardship. By finding ways to win it for them, then we would win it for everyone else.
Our Data Working Group conducted a detailed analysis of our local communities, which identified mothers from Lauderdale Lakes as the segment of our population experiencing the highest level of disparities. These residents will serve as co-researchers of our pilot project and will have a seat at the table with business and nonprofit leaders to design transformational solutions and best practices.
After the co-research process, systemic changes and new policies will be introduced and adopted, along with a roadmap to help and empower other communities to dismantle their barrier to economic mobility. We anticipate that at least 5% of mothers living in our pilot city will have a pathway out of poverty.
Our supporting partners are the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Broward College, OIC of South Florida, Children Service's Council, United Way of Broward County, CareerSource Broward, Urban League of Broward, City of Lauderdale Lakes, Memorial Healthcare System, Broward Technical Colleges, 211 Broward, and the Early Learning Coalition of Broward.
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